The Simple Oil Change (that gets complicated)


This was the first time I decided to try an oil change… it didn’t seem to be a difficult job to take care of. You jack the car up, place an oil pan under the sump plug, release the oil, change the oil filter, replace the sump plug, lower the car and then refill the engine with the appropriate oil. Easy.

After the car was raised, and the pan placed, I found that the sump plug was quite stiff and would require some more torque to release. A quick spray of WD40 helped, but it still wasn’t coming off. Eventually, I managed to attach a pipe to the end of the spanner and that extra force was enough to release the oil




Let all that oil drip out

Once I allowed the oil to completely drain, I made an attempt to remove the used oil filter. It was then that I had a rather annoying problem. The oil filter remover that I had purchased a year previously was too large for this car. I tried in vain for a good amount of time, even shoving a rag in there to fill up the extra space in the gap to no avail… this filter wasn’t coming off.




The useless oil filter remover

Not knowing what to do next, I cleaned myself off and headed to the internet for help. Being directed to a random forum, a logical solution appeared. I would need to hammer a screwdriver into the old oil filter… essentially creating a handle that would then give me the ability to unscrew the old filter.

(Due to the amount of mess that was created through this process… I thought it would be best to quit taking photos of the operation at this point)

Puncturing the old oil filter released a healthy amount of used oil onto my clothes and, after getting the screwdriver in up to it’s handle, I was able to slowly unscrew the oil filter. After dousing the new filter with oil, it was screwed in place while using the oversized remover (with a rag) to get it as tight as possible. Once this was done, the car was lowered… and new oil was poured into the engine. I ran the car engine for a few minutes allowing the new oil to make its way to the sump. After the car was off and settled for a few minutes, I had a final check of the oil with the dipstick… all good. Job done… I promptly headed to the bathroom for a much-needed shower!



That Fantastic Sound!

squeak!.jpgSome advice for everyone… keep a can of WD40 or some kind of machine oil in your home.

But if you don’t have anything at the time and need to take care of something immediately, you can improvise. During our last trip to China, we stayed in an apartment in Zhuhai. Zhuhai is located in the southern provinces and can often get humid. One of the first things I noticed was the noise coming from the bathroom door. On closer inspection of the hinges, the humidity had caused both top and bottom to develop substantial amounts of rust… with the wear now creating a very unpleasant noise. Since I’m a light sleeper and was couch-surfing next to the culprit, it was something that needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

My temporary solution was… cooking oil applied with a q-tip. Keep in mind the term “temporary” because although it will lubricate the parts immediately and take care of the issue, cooking oil can eventually go rancid and gum up after being exposed to the air for an amount of time. ┬áIn any case, it did the trick and I wasn’t unexpectedly woken whenever someone needed a pee!